Feock, Cornwall

Feature Sets (2)

Description

The church of St. Feoca is mostly 19thc., but retains a south aisle arcade of the 15thc. with plain capitals and five four-centred arches. Some of the doorways and windows are also 15thc.

The detached 13thc. bell tower is a sturdy square stone building with battered wall set over a basement. It has a single doorway with a simple pointed arch, small louvred ventilators to the bell storey, and a pyramidal slate roof.

Romanesque sculpture can be found on the font.

History

Records of a church on the same site as the present building date from the 13thc., but all that remains is the detached bell tower. The position of the tower, on higher ground at the top of the churchyard and above the main church building, may have also acted as a look-out to the Fal river and Carrick Roads. 

The church, including the chancel, nave, south aisle and transept, was renovated and enlarged in 1864. However, in 1874 the retired vicar, Thomas Phillpotts, became dissatisfied with the church and drew up plans for a new church. The old church was taken down, but much of the stonework of piers and arches, windows and doorways was incorporated into the new building, which was designed by Piers St. Aubyn and opened in 1876.

Features

Furnishings

Fonts

Font

The bowl of the font is of exceptional quality and is said to date from 1130. It is constructed of Catacleuse stone, known as Blue Elvan in Cornwall, and is probably from the disused quarries on the cliffs at Catacleuse Point near Padstow. This is a fine-grained and very dense stone and was often used for Romanesque fonts because it could be finely carved. The stone is dark green when freshly quarried but develops a browny-red tinge when weathered, as on the St Feock font. The bowl is hemispherical, and lock marks can be seen on the rim. The bowl is crisply carved with a frieze of two tiers of saltire crosses and a row of zig-zags around the top. Below this are eight precisely carved raised circles containing identical raised ‘tree of life’ leaf motifs.

The shaft supporting the bowl is carved in a different stone, granite, and may not be original; it is in a tapering, turned style with a cable moulding around the centre. The circular base is now set on an octagonal plinth

Dimensions
Diameter of base 99 cm
Diameter of bowl 65.5 cm
Height of base 17 cm
Height of bowl 24 cm
Height of shaft 51.0 cm
Overall height 90.5 cm
Width of plinth 165 cm

Comments/Opinions

Although the church itself is unexceptional, the setting in the centre of the village, surrounded by the older bell tower and thatched cottages, is charming.  The outstanding font is a hidden treasure inside the church. 

Bibliography

  • P. Beacham and N. Pevsner, The Buildings of England. Cornwall, New Haven and London (2014) 195-96.

  • C. D. North, St. Feock: the Saint, the Church, the Parish (guide by local expert).

  • Rev. E. J. Saunders, A short history and guide to the Parish and Church of St. Feock, Nr. Truro (Church guide).

Location

Site Location
Feock
National Grid Reference
SW 824 384 
Boundaries
now: Cornwall
pre-1974 traditional (England and Wales): Cornwall
Diocese
now: Truro
medieval: Exeter
Dedication
now:
medieval: St Feock
Type of building/monument
Parish church  
Report authors
Andrew Beard 
Visit Date
10 Jul 2015